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Google Takes Step Toward Nationwide Free Wi-Fi

Here's one more sign that Google is eying rolling out a nationwide, free Wi-Fi network: It just won approval to offer free Wi-F for its hometown of Mountain View. And it looks like that's just the first step to a national rollout.
Google will blanket the entire city of Mountain View with free Wi-Fi -- no strings (or wires) attached. It already provides free Wi-Fi in Union Square in San Francisco, and in New York's Rockefeller Center. And it's trying to get the rights to provide Wi-Fi to San Francisco as well.

Google has made it clear that the Mountain View Wi-Fi offering is prelude to much larger things. The company views it as pilot and testing ground for a potentially much larger, nationwide rollout. According to the San Jose Mercury News: "In its offer, Google product manager Minnie Ingersoll said the company wants to use Mountain View as a test site to learn more about the cost and the challenges of building and supporting a wireless network, with the ultimate aim of driving more traffic to Google."

Seems like a fair deal --- you get free Wi-Fi; Google gets traffic.